An operations engineer from Fort Worth, Texas...

Buddy Wright

What was your reaction when you were invited to the Tournament of Champions?
When I was invited to the tournament, it was--it was amazing. I-I got the call, and I knew from the area code on my cell phone that--that it was probably--it was probably the call I'd been hoping for it, been--been waiting for it, and--and when I finally got it, it was--it was breathtaking.

What are you most looking forward to about this experience?
Well, I'm hoping to win a quarter million dollars! But, uh, but really, just--the--the people that we're playing, that I'm playing with, they--they've all been great, they're--they're just a lot of fun, really great people. Um, we've just been having a real good time talking to one another, getting to know one another. Uh, I'm--I'm just hoping to do pretty well and have a lot of fun.

Have you spent any of your previous winnings?
My wife and I paid off a lot of credit cards. We got a lot of that, uh, taken care of, and, uh, and then we--we treated ourselves to a little trip to Vegas. Uh, left the kids at home with the--with the in-laws and--and took a little--had a little, uh, fun time with ourselves, so, uh... You know, but aside from that, we've still got a little money in the bank maybe, and looking to see if I can't so something here, and maybe, uh, maybe buy a new house after this.

...

How do you feel about advancing to the next round?
Uh, wow. Uh, it's scary and wonderful and great and intimidating all at the same time. Uh, I know all the people who are--who are going to be--who are playing or who could potentially play, and--and they're all great, so this is just going to be a real challenge, but I'm looking forward to it.

Was there a turning point for you?
I-I felt really good through the whole game. I--you know, the f--the--where I felt worst was just standing up here and waiting. And once I got into the zone, it was--it just--you just go on autopilot and you just go. I don't even remember half of what I--I don't remember most of what I've said.

What advice do you have for future Tournament of Champions contestants?
Relax. Relax, and just--just let it come to you, let it flow. Because no amount of studying, no amount of preparation is going to get you ready for--for standing up on that stage and standing behind that podium and holding that buzzer. Just relax and have fun with it.

How has the tournament compared to your original run?
You don't know what to expect the first go-round. You--you really are walking into the unknown. In this case, I've--we've been--we've all been here before. So we kinda all know what to expect, but at the same time, the level of competition is just that much greater. So, uh, there's--there's plusses and minuses on both sides.

...

What does it mean to be a finalist in the Tournament of Champions?
Oh my God, this is amazing. I-I don't even know what to say. This is, uh--this is a-a childhood dream come true. I've been watching Jeopardy! all my life, and to--to actually make it--to actually be here, and--on this stage--make it, it's just beyond words. I don't even know what to say.

What do you think of the competition?
Oh, they were great. Uh, Jay--Jay played a great game. Uh, so did Kara. Uh, Jay had some unfortunate misses, and--and G--God knows he's a great player, and he's... I'm just fortunate to be standing here.

How has the tournament compared to your original run?
This is ten times harder. This is, uh--the--the--the stress level is--is enormous. But--but at the same time, y'know, the people around are great. The--the competition, it's all very friendly, we all are--get along great. It's--it is, uh--it's--it's very gratifying. I mean, I'd be happy either way just to see some of these guys win, but, uh--but, uh--but I'm glad to be standing here.

Will you celebrate tonight?
No doubt. There--there will be champagne tonight. [Chuckles]

Any advice for folks taking the online test?
Go try it. You know, it doesn't hurt anything to try. Go out, do your best. If you don't make it, try again. Just keep going. If you want to do this, do it. Any--I'm living proof anybody can do this!

2011 Tournament of Champions 2nd runner-up: $50,000.
Season 26 4-time champion: $88,804 + $1,000.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: aggiebud

Buddy appeared in the following 4 archived games:
#6247, aired 2011-11-15 Roger Craig vs. Tom Nissley vs. Buddy Wright 2011 Tournament of Champions final game 2.
#6246, aired 2011-11-14 Roger Craig vs. Tom Nissley vs. Buddy Wright 2011 Tournament of Champions final game 1.
#6244, aired 2011-11-10 Buddy Wright vs. Jay Rhee vs. Kara Spak 2011 Tournament of Champions semifinal game 2.
#6241, aired 2011-11-07 Paul Kursky vs. Erin McLean vs. Buddy Wright 2011 Tournament of Champions quarterfinal game 4.
Buddy previously appeared on Jeopardy! as Buddy Wright in the following 5 archived games:
#5927, aired 2010-05-25 Buddy Wright vs. Amy Watts vs. Tom LaPorta Buddy Wright game 5.
#5926, aired 2010-05-24 Buddy Wright vs. Jenna Strickland vs. Gordon Purcell Buddy Wright game 4.
#5910, aired 2010-04-30 Buddy Wright vs. Antoinette Aubert vs. Shubha Ghosh Buddy Wright game 3.
#5909, aired 2010-04-29 Buddy Wright vs. Linda Smith vs. Robin Poché Buddy Wright game 2.
#5908, aired 2010-04-28 Randall Johnson vs. Buddy Wright vs. Alexandra Helprin Buddy Wright game 1.

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